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Pennsylvania & New Jersey Car Accident Law - What Can You Recover in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Car accidents are often fatal, or at the least, cause serious, catastrophic injuries. Such injuries are not limited to car accidents and can result from:

  • pedestrian accidents,
  • bus accidents,
  • truck accidents, or
  • motorcycle accidents.

The laws of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey permit residents to file lawsuits to recover for their injuries - financial, physical, and/or mental. Here are the most basic types of damages available in a Pennsyvlania or New Jersey car accident injury case:

1. Pain and Suffering
2. Lost Wages
3. Medical Bills, Expenses
4. Punitive Damages

Pain and Suffering: People injured in car accidents can recover for their pain and suffering. Factors which are important in determining the nature and extent of pain and suffering include: age, marital status, age/number of children, type of job, nature and extent of the injuries, surgeries and treatment.

Lost Wages: Those who are unable to return to work or miss time from work after a car accident can make a claim for those lost wages. Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey car accident law, the negligent driver is liable for all financial damages which flow from the accident and this includes lost wages. In addition to making a claim for past lost wages, the injured person can make a claim for future lost wages.

Medical Bills/Expenses: In a car accident case in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the injured victim will make a claim under their respective car insurance policies for Personal Injury Protection or PIP. This is because both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are "no-fault" states. This means that in any car accident situation, regardless of whose fault the accident was, medical bills are paid by an individual's car insurance policy. In other words, the negligent driver's car insurance policy does not pay for the medical bills of all persons injured in the accident. However, if there are any out of pocket expenses, or if the PIP coverage exhausts, these additional medical expenses may be recovered in an action against the negligent driver.

Punitive Damages: In certain situations, punitive damages may be warranted. Under the law, a driver who acts in such a way that they show a patent disregard for the health and safety of others may be "punished" by having to pay punitive damages. Such damages are only available in special situations, such as drunk driving. Ordinarily, negligence will not subject a driver to punitive damages.

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If you have questions about a Pennsylvania or New Jersey car accident case, contact our car and truck accident lawyers. 877.944.8396.


*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.


Published: June 9, 2012

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